This chapter begins by noting that the ambiguity of religious traditions on the issue of peace and violence has been recognized and analyzed by scholars since the 1990s. However, these studies are of a general nature, and what is lacking are studies that deal comprehensively with specific religions. This study is therefore meant to begin addressing this lacuna by examining Judaism. The chapter then moves on to explaining why the format of dual readings has been chosen. This chapter also provides definitions for peace and violence as a basis of discussion for the rest of the book. Included in these definitions is the recognition that violence and peace are categories that involve not just immediate and direct physical interactions between human beings but also more indirect interactions that affect the well-being of an individual or community over a lengthy period of time.
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